Rule of Law and People-Centered Justice Cohort Wrap-Up – Final Joint Statement and Call to Action

We, the Rule of Law and People-Centered Justice Democracy Cohort have joined in partnership leading up to the second Summit for Democracy in recognition of the urgent need to strengthen the rule of law and people-centered justice within our own societies and around the world. We recognize that the rule of law is
universally accepted as a fundamental pillar of democracy and a necessary precondition for peaceful, just, and inclusive societies. Yet rising authoritarianism, conflict, corruption, threats to judicial independence, digital repression, climate change, weakening respect for human rights, and the reverberating shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, have compounded and exacerbated the global decline in the rule of law. According to leading studies, 4.4 billion people live in a country where rule of law is declining.1 1.5 billion people across the world also have a criminal, civil or administrative justice problem that they cannot solve.2 If left untreated, people’s unresolved legal problems may give way to growing social frustrations and unrest, thereby exacerbating tensions and conflicts within societies. The rule of law plays an important role in sustaining peace by helping to address the root causes of conflict and insecurity, which often lie in issues of discrimination and marginalization, lack of respect for human rights, corruption, and lack of accountability. Ensuring people can access justice also acknowledges our inherent human dignity

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